Ristoro d'Arezzo, in his Libro della Composizione del M undo, written in 1282, has the following:

" Besides this, there is the needle which guides the mariner, and which is itself directed by the star called the tramontane." 1 The following metrical translation of a poem by Guido Guinicelli, an Italian priest, 1276, is from the pen of Dr. Park Benjamin, of New York:

In what strange regions 'neath the polar star May the great hills of massy lodestone rise, Virtue imparting to the ambient air To draw the stubborn iron ; while afar From that same stone, the hidden virtue flies To turn the quivering needle to the Bear In splendor blazing in the Northern skies.

The above extracts show that the directive property of the magnetic needle was well known in England, France, Germany, Spain and Italy in the thirteenth century. In the passage from Neckam, the acum jaculo superpositam has been construed by some to mean a form of pivoted needle, while in the letter of Fe regrinus, 1269, the double pivoted form is clearly described.

'The pole-star was thus named in the south of France and the north of Italy because seen beyond the mountains (the Alps).

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